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Kobe “open” to playing in Europe. That’s different than going.

Jul 7, 2011, 7:22 PM EDT

Detroit Pistons v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

They want him in Istanbul (and he does endorse Turkish Airlines)…

But would Kobe Bryant play in Turkey? Or in Europe in general? He spent some years of his childhood in Italy, would he return as a professional?

Maybe, according to the twitter account of Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Kobe Bryant is open to considering overseas offers for the duration of NBA lockout, sources familiar with his thinking tell Y! Sports.

Considering offers is very different than actually packing your bags and going.

Kobe is set to make $25.2 million next season, more than any other player in the NBA. Deron Williams is going to get paid $200,000 a month in Turkey, Wojnarowski reported later in the day. Kobe is already working with his agent to set up a barnstorming tour of China, which will be worth far more to his brand than $200,000. Why would he give that up to play in Europe?

And all of that is a risk — any player who gets injured overseas can have his contract voided. Frankly, that’s less of a concern for Kobe (still the Lakers talisman) or even Deron Williams (the Nets still see him as a building block) but it’s a risk.

No European team could come close to paying what Kobe makes in the NBA (he couldn’t get half that). Would he risk all that money to play in Europe for a couple months? That’s not how Kobe works.

But of course he says he’ll consider offers, that’s how you keep pressure on the owners in the negotiations.

  1. edmazeing1 - Jul 7, 2011 at 7:36 PM

    He can play over seas, but couldt for hornets?

  2. ocgunslinger - Jul 7, 2011 at 11:05 PM

    At Kobes age and accumulated mileage (which translates to injuries) if Kobe really wants another ring he will use the time to heal those knees and fingers and prepare for another run to the finals. The guy is not stupid and he knows his body, abilities and limitations so don’t look for him in Europe.

    • florida727 - Jul 8, 2011 at 7:44 AM

      Last sentence of the article sums it up. Kobe has earned more than $196 million in his career. He’s obviously not doing this for the money. He’s doing it to sent the NBA a clear message that even one of its biggest stars will jump ship if they don’t move negotiations along… quickly.

  3. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 8, 2011 at 12:07 AM

    So you’re saying Kobe should get healthy to win another title, that he knows his body, and that we shouldn’t expect to see him playing against lesser competition in Europe??? Insightful…

  4. davidly - Jul 9, 2011 at 9:33 AM

    This reminds me of what happened when the Tulane Travelmongers were put in escrow and had to sit out that one season. Who took his talents to Bordeaux, leading the French team to its first Bay of Biscay regional title and leaving the building blocks for many more, even though he never played another season in Europe? That’s right, you guessed it: A certain baller who goes by the name of Skibby MaRue, is who! True story.

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